Court resumes in Coffee County

Nearly two years to the day of receiving Chapter 11 protections, Lakeway Publishers, Inc., the parent company of the Manchester Times, has emerged from bankruptcy.

Judge Shelley Ricker signed the order Thursday.

Lakeway Publishers, Inc. President R. Jack Fishman said the announcement is an important one for Lakeway Publishers, its papers and the communities they serve.

 “We greatly value our relationship with our readers, employees and customers. Throughout this process we have remained committed to maintaining the trust we have earned over the years,” Fishman said. “It has not been an easy process. We entered into these protections less than a year before the arrival of a global pandemic that presented unique challenges that made the process more arduous.”

Still, Lakeway Publishers was founded on the idea of providing the critical information for a community to thrive while enlightening its readers. And while the times have changed and the company is adapting, the mission remains the same, Fishman said.

“Newspapers, like many industries, must continue to react to new challenges in an ever-changing economic climate,” Fishman said, “but they still, first and foremost, must serve their community.

Lakeway Publishers, Inc. is composed of mostly smaller newspapers and websites in smaller communities in Tennessee, Missouri and Virginia.

“In our democracy, it is of vital importance that our citizens remain informed and we come out of this process with renewed commitment to our important role and with better flexibility,” Fishman said. “In times of global crisis, the role of a community newspaper is even more vital. It has been our job to help deliver information that aids and informs our readers in the ways they can protect themselves and their families.

“I am especially proud of the job Lakeway Publishers’ newspapers have done in these trying times. That they fulfilled that role while going through the Chapter 11 process is more proof of the resiliency or our papers, our employees and our loyal readers who support us.”

Fishman said he is pleased that today’s announcement will aid Lakeway Publishers in continuing to improve, striving to do their jobs even better.

“Looking ahead, we are confident we are better positioned to be able to provide the very best local news of people, government, business, schools, sports and those things affecting our daily lives and, at the same time, to build a stronger company with employees committed to our long history of supporting our local communities,” Fishman said.